The Spanish rider hit the track at MotorLand Aragon on Tuesday and key figures from Kawasaki have been reacting to his performance
After Adrian Huertas made his MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship testing debut on Tuesday at MotorLand Aragon with the Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK, the team have been reacting to his performance. The 20-year-old was on a Superbike machine for the first time as he made the step up, for one day, at least, from WorldSSP machinery. Speaking after his debut, key figures from KRT including six-time Champion Jonathan Rea, the crew chiefs and the team manager have spoken about Huertas’ performance.
Huertas testing on day one of the test and set his best time, like most of the field, in the afternoon session with the Spaniard switching to the SCQ tyre early in that four-hour block. He briefly went into second place when he set a 1’51.044s but was overhauled by his rivals and finished the day in sixth. In total, Huertas completed 79 laps across his sole day of running as he stepped in for Rea and Alex Lowes, as the World Supersport star rode alongside Florian Marino on Tuesday. Following his first day with WorldSBK machinery, key figures from Kawasaki have lavished praise on the #99.
Talking about watching his performance from the outside, Rea said: “It’s very strange watching another rider ride your bike! I was really happy for him. He deserved this chance. In WorldSSP, it’s a really competitive Championship and with the ZX-6RR, he’s been able to be competitive. He deserved the opportunity to be rewarded for his efforts but also to check his potential for the future. I wasn’t here in the morning, only in the afternoon, but straight away he had a good speed. It seems like his feedback was quite clear. The adaptation from World Supersport to World Superbike is a big one. I think he did quite well. Pere seemed like he was quite pleased that he had a mature approach to the test.”
During the test, Huertas worked with Pere Riba – Rea’s crew chief – who gave his thoughts on his outing. He said: “He did well. Everybody can see he’s doing a good job in WorldSSP, but World Supersport and WorldSBK are different. The approach and the way to ride are different. From the first time he jumped on the bike, compared to around 1:30pm when he did his best lap time, it was like two different riders. For him, it was his first time on a big bike. He showed good potential. How good? I don’t know, honestly. But he showed good performance. I think he enjoyed it with the bike, and he had some pace.”
Despite mostly working with Riba, Marcel Duinker, who is Alex Lowes’ crew chief, was able to give a quick review on how he thought Huertas’ test went. Duinker explained: “This was his first time on a WorldSBK bike, and I can only say he did an incredibly good job. He showed his talent and let’s see where he will be in the future.”
Of course, no review about a team’s debutant would be complete without the team manager speaking. Guim Roda, Team Manager at KRT, was on hand and was another key figure who heaped praise on the WorldSSP star. Roda added: “Adrian was good, it was interesting to see a 20-year-old’s evolution with no experience on the 1000cc bike, and the way he rode and made mistakes and the wrong approach and then correct it right away. It was nice to help him improve. We spoke with him, and it was a fun day. He could stay on the bike, he went quite fast, so we’re happy for that as well. It was a good and constructive experience.”
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